Wife's sticker shock



Todd M

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Aug 20, 2006
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How do you all deal with a significant other that is not into cycling and who thinks spending more than $500 on a new bike is insane?

I recently decided to start riding again after a few years layoff and decided to get a new road bike. I sold my old road bike (leaving me with only my mountain bike) with the idea of using the money from that sale to partially fund the purchase of a new road bike. I made the mistake of taking my wife to a bike shop this weekend to check out some new rides and all she would do was flip the price tags over and say, "For a bike?!" I don't see anything wrong with spending $2500 - $3000 for a decent bike, but she has dug her heels in on this one, refuses to use household funds for an overpriced toy, and feels I am fine on my old Trek 7000 mountain bike until I save up enough of my own "mad money" to fund the new ride. Believe me, if that's the case, I won't have a new bike for a couple of years!

I'm having a hard time pleading my case and any suggestions, facts, or information you might have so I can show her a) how crappy it is to have to ride a mountain bike on the road vs. riding a road bike on the road or b)the general differences between a $500 bike vs. $3000 bike would be greatly appreciated.

-Todd
 

strummer_fan

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Aug 13, 2004
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Todd M said:
How do you all deal with a significant other that is not into cycling and who thinks spending more than $500 on a new bike is insane?

I recently decided to start riding again after a few years layoff and decided to get a new road bike. I sold my old road bike (leaving me with only my mountain bike) with the idea of using the money from that sale to partially fund the purchase of a new road bike. I made the mistake of taking my wife to a bike shop this weekend to check out some new rides and all she would do was flip the price tags over and say, "For a bike?!" I don't see anything wrong with spending $2500 - $3000 for a decent bike, but she has dug her heels in on this one, refuses to use household funds for an overpriced toy, and feels I am fine on my old Trek 7000 mountain bike until I save up enough of my own "mad money" to fund the new ride. Believe me, if that's the case, I won't have a new bike for a couple of years!

I'm having a hard time pleading my case and any suggestions, facts, or information you might have so I can show her a) how crappy it is to have to ride a mountain bike on the road vs. riding a road bike on the road or b)the general differences between a $500 bike vs. $3000 bike would be greatly appreciated.

-Todd
If you don't race competitively, and you are riding mostly for fun and fitness, she likely has a point. While Jan Ullrich can justify the $5500.00 for deep aero carbon fibre rims from Lightweight, I just can't justify them for my riding.

I would suggest splitting the difference between what you'd like and what she will understand and allow. You could spend about $1000.00 on a decent, entry-level road bike, and make incremental improvements to that as you go along. If you are serious about riding, and you feel better, look better, and really enjoy cycling, she is likely to approve bicycle-related expenditures in the future.


Good Luck!

(I followed the plan outlined above. This year, my wife has seen me lose 30 pounds, reduce my stress, and cheered me on to purchase a Merckx 'Cross Bike as continued encouragement.)
 

Todd M

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Aug 20, 2006
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strummer_fan said:
If you don't race competitively, and you are riding mostly for fun and fitness, she likely has a point. While Jan Ullrich can justify the $5500.00 for deep aero carbon fibre rims from Lightweight, I just can't justify them for my riding.
I guess one of my problems is that I was very serious about riding and I did race competitively and the term "entry level" is a major mental stumbling block for me. The bike I just sold, when bought, was a bike you would have seen on the Tour. While I don't need a Cervelo with Dura-Ace and Zipp wheels now, I can't see myself on an entry level bike. I guess I'm an equipment junkie. Maybe I need to see a sports shrink. :)
 

kuan

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Jun 27, 2005
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Next year's Trek 1500 is all Ultegra and it's only 1k. That might not be what you wanna hear.

You're OCP already :) You think you're fast? You can show up on your MTB and race someone for their bike. That's a good way to get a bike cheap.
 

cuervo

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Mar 23, 2004
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Tell her how much you will be spending on attorneys and everything on a divorce trial, maybe that will convince her.

In my case, I had to wait with my full Ultegra 2300 Trek for almost 3 years after the divorce before I can afford to buy my wonderful Cannondale six13 Team Dura Ace.
 

matagi

Well-Known Member
Mar 12, 2006
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Todd, I am afraid to say I agree with your wife (sorry ;) ) Just curious, but why didn't you just keep your old road bike and upgrade the components?

I would suggest you check the used bike market. I'm sure there are a few pieces of expensive "garage art" out there which were bought by enthusiastic newbies with more money than sense, ridden a handful of times, then put away in the corner.

Of course, if you go for a cheaper specced bike which has a good frame but lower end gear, then you can sneak the upgrades in over time. :)
 

BillM

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Aug 12, 2006
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Todd M said:
How do you all deal with a significant other that is not into cycling and who thinks spending more than $500 on a new bike is insane?

I recently decided to start riding again after a few years layoff and decided to get a new road bike. I sold my old road bike (leaving me with only my mountain bike) with the idea of using the money from that sale to partially fund the purchase of a new road bike. I made the mistake of taking my wife to a bike shop this weekend to check out some new rides and all she would do was flip the price tags over and say, "For a bike?!" I don't see anything wrong with spending $2500 - $3000 for a decent bike, but she has dug her heels in on this one, refuses to use household funds for an overpriced toy, and feels I am fine on my old Trek 7000 mountain bike until I save up enough of my own "mad money" to fund the new ride. Believe me, if that's the case, I won't have a new bike for a couple of years!

I'm having a hard time pleading my case and any suggestions, facts, or information you might have so I can show her a) how crappy it is to have to ride a mountain bike on the road vs. riding a road bike on the road or b)the general differences between a $500 bike vs. $3000 bike would be greatly appreciated.

-Todd
Who wears the pants? Go get whatever bike you want.
 

frenchyge

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Apr 3, 2005
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If you're just thinking of getting back into road cycling, it may be a good idea (and show of good faith) to go with an entry level bike or a nicer used bike which fits into the family budget. Once she sees how much time you are (or aren't) spending on it, and the amount of enjoyment you get from it, it may become easier to have the upgrade conversation.

In reality, I'd say the differences between the entry-level and high-end bikes are only going to be appreciated by someone who is spending a lot of time on the bike. I rode and trained on my Trek 1000 for about 5 years (mostly MS 150s and club rides), and while $550 seemed steep to her at the time, after she saw the amount of use, enjoyment, and health I was getting from it, she actually supported me upgrading to a 5200 at the time. In her mind, that was a one-time "buy your dream bike" kind of purchase.

OTOH, you could have the same conversation about the differences between a $500 and $3000 couch, but tread lightly there. :)
 

otherworld

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Feb 5, 2004
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How much does she spend on what she wants???? start adding that up. If you're fit and healthy and happy that's good for her too and worth a lot more than money. Just get what-ever you want and stop being such a woos.

Jay
 

aicabsolut

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Jul 18, 2006
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If you're serious about getting back into the sport, then it's going to cost money--it's not a cheap sport. As with any expensive hobby, either your significant other is on board and supportive or he or she isn't.

I'm just getting into cycling, and luckily I don't have a husband nagging me about it, but I come from a much more expensive sport: show jumping. In both sports, there's a range of spending that can be done, but the bare bones cheapest options for equipment are not so competitive (I'm not really going into horse prices here, which is complicated...equipment in general is important). Being less than competitive isn't the goal of someone dedicated to the sport. I sold 2 (horse) saddles to pay for the one I use now, which I will say is a good bit more expensive than my new road bike. :rolleyes: That's just my saddle. (And I am no where near the big spenders--I've only got one saddle.)

I see many other equestrians having the same arguments with their spouses. Some of them make up some sort of allowance system out of household funds with the other spouse doesn't have enough 'mad money.' That way, they don't feel like they're giving up all their free money to the others' sport. Others are more supportive. Like frenchyge said, maybe you just have to show her that this isn't going to fizzle into years of doing nothing again. Are you serious about getting back into it? Convince her, and maybe she'll warm up to it. But you will still probably have to compromise some and not get your dream bike. Then if things go well, she might be more on board for the next upgrade. Maybe that's why she wants you to take the time to save money--to make sure you really want to do this.

Tell her at least you're not buying a horse, or a motorcycle :)
 

RussB

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Jul 21, 2006
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I convinved my wife (which wasn't hard) by showing her a web site that had bikes that ranged from $650 to $9,999. And since I had stuck with it on my $440 hybrid for almost a year. It wasn't hard to justify $1440 for a new bike. :cool:
 

fishrider314

New Member
May 18, 2006
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just ride the wheels off the crappy bike and show her you can justify spending a pretty penny on a fat road bike. earn the new ride with the miles you log. my wife was so pleased to have me out of the house for hours at a time (and doing something contructive no less) she did not blink an eye on me spending $1400 on a BEAUTIFUL Specialized road bike. it's not all about the equipment, it's more about the time in the saddle.
 

Todd M

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Aug 20, 2006
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matagi said:
Todd, I am afraid to say I agree with your wife (sorry ;) ) Just curious, but why didn't you just keep your old road bike and upgrade the components?
In a nutshell, I want a lighter bike. The old SLX frame just wasn't going to cut it any more for me. Plus, I didn't want to canibalize it since I knew I could get a decent price for it if I sold it. Which I did! :)
 

frenchyge

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Apr 3, 2005
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If I had known at the time that I was going to get into racing, I would have bought nice components on a cheaper frame. I see lots of crashes out there, and was very fortunate that my own crash did not affect my bike beyond a few minor scratches on the shifters and pedals.

I'm not looking forward to the "I need to *replace* my overly-expensive bike" conversation, although I'm sure it's going to have to happen sometime. The $900 power meter that I needed for training still comes up in certain conversations...

Then there's the time-trial bike that I'd like to build for stage races, etc. :eek:
 

cheapie

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Aug 16, 2004
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one legitimate reason is that you CAN'T ride with other road riders and keep up when you are riding a heavy mtn bike and they're riding even halfway decent steeds.

do you have the money? or would you have to put it on the credit card? that would make a big difference to me if i were trying to justify it to the wife.

also, do you start sports and get all excited and then back out? that's a killer. i started and my wife was dubious about me actually riding my "expensive" $850 klein i bought on ebay. 7 years later i had no problem getting my ellsworth and trek 5200. of course i make more money now and drove a cheap car but...

oh, one more piece of advice: BUILD the bike. seriously. compare the two following scenarios:

hey honey, i just spent $3000 on a new bike!

or

hey honey, i used that money from my old bike and got a great deal on a closeout frame/used carbon frame on ebay for only $900. and since the frame is most expensive item, it shouldn't be too much more

a week later....hey honey, i just picked up a great crankset for a couple hundred dollars. pretty much just used my blow money

a little later...wow, i got a great deal on this wheelset and i'm almost done building up my bike. how much have i spent so far? :confused: gosh, i'll have to find all the receipts. not too much though. :p
 

jeff828

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May 2, 2004
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BillM said:
Who wears the pants? Go get whatever bike you want.

:D :D :D This is a sure way to get a divorce or creat tension in the marriage. Just remember if you do this, she might come home with a surprise herself. Bill might not be married or if he is I wonder how smooth its going.
I suggest get a bike in the range of $1000-1500, you can get some really good deals on e-bay also.

http://sporting-goods.search.ebay.c...trefZC12QQfromZR8QQfsooZ1QQfsopZ1QQsacatZ7294


http://cgi.ebay.com/Giant-TCR-Compo...2QQihZ016QQcategoryZ98084QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


$1300
http://cgi.ebay.com/Nice-2001-Speci...2QQihZ014QQcategoryZ98084QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/05-Specialized-...0QQihZ009QQcategoryZ98084QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem



OR bid on a frame and build up
http://search.ebay.com/search/searc...=compare&copagenum=1&coentrypage=search&fgtp=
 

jcbarnett

New Member
Aug 3, 2006
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Of course you can always just do what I do: buy whatever you want, put it in the garage and then tell her about it once she discovers it (and LIE about the price:eek:) Problem with that method is that anyone can find out the relative cost of anything very fast on the internet, even if you told her you got it on Ebay "used". Good thing I'm not afflicted with the same physical condition that Pinocchio suffered. IF I were, the astronauts wouldn't need rockets and shuttles to get to the moon... they could just have me look up and climb my nose!
 

Todd M

New Member
Aug 20, 2006
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jeff828 said:
Great idea with eBay, unfortunately they usually don't have anything for me in terms of size. I'm 6'5" and let's just say there is not a huge supply of large frames out there. The only thing that caught my eye was a Litespeed frame, but the guy had to send it back to the factory because the head tube split. Not going down that road. I guess I'll keep checking though. It doesn't hurt.
 

scottdurand

New Member
Aug 20, 2006
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Just for laughs i'll throw this out, get a rich girlfriend on the side and let her buy it! Nah just kidding, man it's hard to justify these things to people that are not interested in it.